5 classic Christmas stories to read aloud and linger over

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI  - This is the classic O Henry story of the poor young couple who each sell the thing most dear to them to buy the other a Christmas present – this version is illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger making it especially beautiful.


THE GIFT OF THE MAGI - This is the classic O Henry story of the poor young couple who each sell the thing most dear to them to buy the other a Christmas present – this version is illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger making it especially beautiful.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL  - Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas stories aside from the nativity - this one is illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake


A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas stories aside from the nativity - this one is illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake

 
CHRISTMAS STORIES  - my all time favourite author to read aloud, Michael Morpurgo's words are always perfect. Here, they're combined with amazingly beautiful artwork from some of Britain’s best illustrators. There are four stories and they’ll take up to an hour each to read aloud, so perfect for a car trip or plane ride.


CHRISTMAS STORIES - my all time favourite author to read aloud, Michael Morpurgo's words are always perfect. Here, they're combined with amazingly beautiful artwork from some of Britain’s best illustrators. There are four stories and they’ll take up to an hour each to read aloud, so perfect for a car trip or plane ride.

 
AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS  - This is the picture book version of the children’s opera. It’s long and detailed but wonderful to read aloud either before or after watching the opera itself. We saw it live many years ago and have had a jar of licorice out every year at Christmas time since – you’ll see why if you read the book


AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS - This is the picture book version of the children’s opera. It’s long and detailed but wonderful to read aloud either before or after watching the opera itself. We saw it live many years ago and have had a jar of licorice out every year at Christmas time since – you’ll see why if you read the book

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS DVD  - Watching the DVD has become a favourite Christmas Monday night tradition.


AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS DVD - Watching the DVD has become a favourite Christmas Monday night tradition.

 
THE FAMILY UNDER THE BRIDGE  - This one isn't a Christmas story as such, but it is set around Christmas time, it’s heartwarming and it’s set in Paris - the story of children who become family to a man who didn’t know he wanted a family.


THE FAMILY UNDER THE BRIDGE - This one isn't a Christmas story as such, but it is set around Christmas time, it’s heartwarming and it’s set in Paris - the story of children who become family to a man who didn’t know he wanted a family.

 

Christmas for me is all about long days, warm nights, outside play in the dark, a bath or a swim and then a chapter or two of a story read aloud to the whole family. Then there's the summer camping trip where a read-aloud book after dinner is essential!

Or, rainy days when it’s thundering and pouring for a whole day which require a play in the rain and an ice-block and still leave time for a few more pages.

All of which means that Christmas stories full of snow and fur lined coats feel almost surreal. But we love them anyway and today's selection are good for both hemispheres.

Names in this post: Amahl

a peaceful Nullabor Christmas - full of delight and excitement

a peaceful Nullabor Christmas - full of delight and excitement

ages 2 to 12 years
A perfect Australian Christmas picture book, it’s the story of Kathleen – a little girl who lives along Australia’s Nullarbor Plain – and of the Tea and Sugar Train which used to travel across the Plain each week. A charming balance to the OTT commercialism that sometimes surrounds Christmas.

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5 Anzac Day favourites to honour one of Australia's most important days

5 Anzac Day favourites to honour one of Australia's most important days

ANZAC Day is named after the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli in World War 1—the 25th of April 1915. In Australia and New Zealand the day is commemorated each year and has become one of our most important national days. It’s a day replete with stories of valour, courage, kindness, and good natured shenanigans.

These five are by no means the only lovely books to read around Anzac Day but they are exceptional.

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a lift-the-flap Easter surprise + fun activities

a lift-the-flap Easter surprise + fun activities

ages 0 to 6 years
All my brain space has been taken up by our coming-up-fast big move (to Tasmania), so this year's Easter activities have been on the back burner. Thankfully, Ivy found this cute book at the library—it’s managed to kick-start us into our usual Easter fun mode. We’re Going on an Egg Hunt is the story of 4 bunny friends that set out on an egg-hunting adventure (think We’re Going On A Bear Hunt):

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6 Easter crafts that are fun to make and lovely to look at—not just for the kids!

6 Easter crafts that are fun to make and lovely to look at—not just for the kids!

We have a family tradition of giving a book as well as eggs on Easter morning and it's always a time of excitement and surprises. It's also a time when we (my family and I) try to get creative with the kids - we do a whole bunch of Easter crafts and activities....
 

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an eggs-traordinary slide-and-find book

an eggs-traordinary slide-and-find book

ages 1 to 4 years
It’s quite difficult to find a good Easter book, but Easter Surprise is one of them. The words are simple verse and not too complicated which makes it perfect for toddlers. The pictures are bright and lots of fun. It's an Ivy favourite! 
 

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a lovely look into a child’s fondest Christmas dreams

a lovely look into a child’s fondest Christmas dreams

This is a book overflowing with Christmas goodness. Everything that makes up a perfect, simple and nostalgic Christmas is there – a community party, a children’s Christmas play, wishes and hopes and fond memories, family and food, long summer nights.
ages 2 to 8 years

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